The Twitter Post: Celebrity Roleplaying

Back in the days of old AOL, it was all the rave to have a screenname (aka handle) that sounded like a known celebrity. At the time, no one really thought anyone was who they said they were (Superman, Prince, Madonna) until actual celebrities started staking out their names and demanding legitimacy. I’ve always preferred using mythological creatures and character names myself (you can get into some copyright issues there, too, if you name your WoW character “Richard Rahl”).

But with the popularity of Twitter, the game of celebrity impersonation has been taken to a whole new level. While some celebrities have “verified” themselves and others have professional “tweeters” keeping fans happy, others haven’t started playing or have no intention of doing so. This makes them prime targets for impersonation, and some clever impersonators have gotten away with quite a bit: Celebrity Roleplaying.

Continue reading “The Twitter Post: Celebrity Roleplaying”

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History in Progress, Death for Texting

You may remember the scene in the film Monty Python & the Holy Grail where the characters find the writings of Joseph of Arimathea. They come to the end of the writing to read, “… the Castle of uuggggggh,” and someone actually speculates that “He must have died while carving it.”

Funny? Now imagine if that were true. Now stop imagining.

Following the elections in Iran, the so-called “Twittersphere” is alight with micro-bloggers trying to get the word out regarding protests, government crackdowns, and worse following accusations of a fixed election. Supporting techies are orchestrating denial-of-service attacks against official Iranian government websites while providing secure IPs to allow Iranian bloggers the chance to be heard and cover the chaos. Even the Iranian Supreme Leader (neither of the guys in the election, in case you didn’t know) has called for an investigation, and that’s really something considering that his word is law.

This isn’t standing in front of a tank in Tienanmen Square and having your picture taken before dying. Thanks to global, real-time communication, people in different countries with different freedoms are talking to one another, some very real danger of dying for an opinion. They’re in the street with a cell phone texting messages, taking photos, and shooting footage while trying to stay alive.

Doesn’t the world feels a little smaller again all of the sudden?

FCC: “Igor, Throw the Switch!”

It’s Friday, June 12, 2009. A date that will live in infamy as “The Day Analogue Television Died.”

Of course, you won’t notice if you have cable, satellite, or any service pumping programs into your box, even if it’s an old television. You will notice, however, if you’re counting on that old set of rabbit ears or crusty antenna on the roof and haven’t bought a government-subsidized digital convertor box.

Ah, glorious sub-900MHz band! We hardly knew you!

Now go, and bring us fast, cheap Wi-Fi that all North Americans may Twitter!

GM: The Future is Electric

There’s a lot of people saying that the government/union takeover of General Motors has condemned it to a slow death of regulated cars no one will want to buy at a cost ballooned by antiquated union promises. At the same time, however, there is evidence that the original plan is still moving forward, such as the $25 million US-based battery lab designed for the Chevy Volt and other future electric cars. And there’s a good reason.

The future isn’t green. It’s electric!

Every gadget you own needs power. The trick is in creating that power, but in the end, it’s still a bunch of holes moving backward in a straight line. Biochemical, nuclear, hydro-electric, it doesn’t matter; it all winds up generating a spark that makes things go, from music players to refrigerators.

Cars are no longer tuned up; their on-board computers do that. Think replacing an engine or transmission is expensive? Ask anyone who’s had to replace their ECM (electronic control module) and/or have it “reprogrammed.” The next logical step is to take the engine out and put the batteries in; hybrids are two times too much weight and hardware, but their helping to transition vehicles into the next phase of transportation.

According to Popular Mechanics in year’s past, GM’s ultimate goal is a chassis that contains the batteries, motors, tires, breaking, and steer-by-wire systems that will resemble a platform with wheels. Once designed, any number of “toppers” can be added: sportcar, truck, minivan, or whatever. This design idea of sharing the underbody is already used to save manufacturing costs, but what if you could have three vehicle toppers and only have to buy one “underbody?” Just snap on the vehicle topper you need and off you go!

Not only are batteries becoming more efficient, they’re getting smaller, plus the power requirements for battery-powered devices are also becoming more efficient. In other words, it takes less energy to do the same things and less energy is wasted getting to those things. Eventually, power requirements, technology, safety systems, and convenience will converge at the right price to create the must-have all-electric vehicle for the next century, and it’s really only a matter of when, not if.

And when it does, I’ll buy one. Even if it says “GM.”

The Twitter Post (Updated)

If you’re actually still reading this after the title, you probably must think that, unless you know me already and fairly well, I’m about to tell you I’ve joined the ranks of Twitter. You would be wrong, however, because I’ve already BEEN on Twitter for some time, just not as “me.”

But I do follow quite a few people via that same identity, and although plenty of people make fun of the pointless banter which is the hallmark of any Internet communication that goes mainstream (95% of all email being spam, anyone?), the people I “follow” meet a certain criteria. If they break my rules, I switch ’em off, and feigning ignorance is not an excuse.

The Rules (thus far):

  1. Relevant thoughts and/or information only, please.
  2. Keep checklists of bodily functions (eating, sleeping, walking, purging) to yourself.
  3. I don’t care what you’re selling. Continue to spam my email as usual.
  4. I don’t need to see everything you TwitPic, especially when it’s another punchline to a “clever” tweet.
  5. If you think of anything else I may have missed, refer to Rule #1.

And to answer the question, “Why Twitter?” With an aggregator or service like Twitteriffic, I can quickly check in on a relative tweeting their way across the states to a new job, find out why a director had to move his shoot to another location, or hear about someone else’s experience with a new movie, DVD, or game. Creative minds (“scruffy,” for those in the know) need outlets for sharing (even if no one’s listening), and these are thoughts in real time. 140 characters of unique but limited expression, but “OMG, Tacos!” is probably not the penultimate use for it.

For every reason NOT to Twitter, check out this video:

For 100 reasons why you SHOULD Twitter, check out this article:

And the sequel to Twouble with Twitter:

Enjoy!

Feeling Blue (the Site, Not Me)

After an unfortunate issue with my “new” host who really doesn’t give crap (seriously, who schedules all support calls over 24 hours AND does single backups within the same time frame?!), I decided to put my money where my mouth is for my personal blog. Working in the industry, I know this happens all the time: hosts buying up other hosts and all the websites hosted therein. The best you can hope for is that your host is the owner (giving you priority) and not the one that got bought it (who are all too happy to charge you for an “upgrade” to their “prefered” account).

In other words, “Hello WordPress.com!”

Yeah, there’s a few limiting factors, but I get all the latest upgrades and all I have to do is post (for the most part). This little evolution also prepped me for a few other things I’ve got cooking, so if you’ve been wonder why the hell I stopped updating almost four weeks ago, wonder no more.